AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The audience cheered, sang along and clapped to the music. “Everyone is part of the school somehow,” said Kim Renee Jaramillo, who teaches sixth grade. “Three Irish dancers are the daughters of our speech teacher. We’ve watched them grow. They’ve become quite good.” The festival also showcased traditional staples like the Cuban song “Guantanamera” and the Mexican favorite “Cielito Lindo.” Many of the performers were Rivera teachers. Teacher Tarcio Lara, who led the audience in a rousing rendition of “Guantanamera,” played keyboards and sang, along with student band leader Stephen Coin, on trumpet. Teacher Ron Leos, playing a blue guitar and backed by a second guitarist and a drummer, got the crowd cheering with his performance of Johnny Cash’s “Fulsome Prison Blues.” PICO RIVERA – Where do a Johnny Cash impersonator, a group of Irish folk dancers and some gospel singers come together? Rivera Middle School held its annual multicultural festival Wednesday morning, which is meant to give students a “taste of music and dance from all around the world,” Principal Andrew Alvidrez said. Students, teachers and a handful of parents crowded the school cafeteria tables and floor as the performances unfolded. Three Irish dancers from Claremont danced jigs and reels to traditional Irish accordion music. They held their arms stiffly at their sides as they performed the energetic, intricate footwork typical of Irish dance. Choir director Benny Pritchett’s sisters sang gospel songs with the student choir. The school has been doing the festival since about 2000, when Pritchett came on board as a music teacher and choir leader. He added that he works as a team with other teachers to organize the event every year. “Usually Mr. Pritchett is the frontman and the teachers help,” Alvidrez said. “I just make sure they have everything they need. The teachers do all the work.” Watching his band teacher play trumpet, eighth-grader Joshua Uribe said “I try to aspire to that.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!